Professor Narayan is the John Fan Family Distinguished Chair Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering with courtesy faculty appointments in Physics and EFC at NC State. He also has appointment as Distinguished Visiting Scientist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After graduating with distinction and first rank from India’s top institution (IIT, Kanpur) in 1969, Narayan continued his studies at the University of California, Berkeley, and obtained his MS (1970) and PhD (1971) degrees in a record time of two years. In 1971, UC Berkeley was rated the top graduate school in the World. He worked as Research Metallurgist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (1971-72), and Senior Scientist and Group Leader at Oak Ridge National Lab, before joining North Carolina State University in 1983 as Senior Microelectronics Professor and Director of Microelectronics Center of North Carolina. He also served as Director of Division of Materials Research (1990-92) of the National Science Foundation and received NSF Distinguished Service Award.
Professor Narayan’s key honors include: Acta Materialia Gold Medal, ASM Gold Medal, TMS RF Mehl Gold Medal and Institute of Metals Lecture Award, Life Member NAE, Life Fellow NAI, Life Fellow NAS-I, Inaugural MRS Fellow, Life Member and Fellow of TMS, Life Member and Fellow of APS, ASM Fellow, AAAS Fellow, Honorary Member MRS-I, Fellow Bohmische Physical Society, North Carolina Science Award (Highest Civilian Honor of North Carolina), O. Max Gardner Award (Highest UNC System Honor), Holladay Medal (Highest NCSU Honor), Reynolds Prize (Highest COE/NCSU Honor), 2011 MRS Forum and 2011 MS&T International Conferences in Narayan’s honor, 2004 Edward DeMille Campbell Lecture and Prize, Lee Hsun Lecture Award, 1997 IIT/K Distinguished Alumnus Award, three R&D-100 Award for Q-carbon and Diamond Related Products and three IR-100 Awards for Laser Diffused Solar Cells, Supersaturated Semiconductor Alloys, and Metal-Ceramic Nanocomposites (Recognized Worldwide as Oscars of Innovation). Professor Narayan has published over 1000 papers in archival journals and received over 40 US Patents, which have over 35,000 and h-index over 90. He has trained and mentored over 88 PhDs who are highly successful in the field of synthesis and processing of novel materials, atomic- and nanoscale characterization, structure-property correlations, and modeling and devices. His research and teaching (MSE-760, Materials Science and Processing of Semiconductor Devices; and MSE-702, Defects in Solids) directly impact The Chips and Science Act of 2022.
Narayan Research Group focuses on synthesis and processing of advanced nanostructured materials with emphasis on pulsed laser deposition and Laser-MBE, laser annealing and transient thermal processing, domain matching epitaxy for thin film epitaxy across the misfit scale, defects and interfaces, atomic and nanoscale materials characterization with emphasis on high-resolution TEM/STEM-Z, structure-property correlations, modeling and solid state devices. His recent discoveries include Q-carbon and Q-BN and direct conversion of carbon into diamond and h-BN into c-BN, polyamorphism and record high-temperature superconductivity in B-doped Q-carbon, domain matching epitaxy and new paradigms for epitaxy across the misfit scale, and novel self-assembled magnetic materials, leading to nanomagnetics, spintronics, nanostructured light-emitting diodes (Nano-Pocket LEDs), and smart integrated sensors on a computer chip Si(100. Narayan’s research has been duly recognized by the American Institute of Physics (AIP) for the Nobel Prize in Physics on Blue Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) made from Gallium Nitrides (III-nitrides) based materials. The AIP has singled out Narayan’s highly cited paper (J. Appl. Phys. 87, 965 (2000) with over fourteen hundred citations) on the development of GaN-based materials used in the Nobel Laureates’ work. In fact, all high-efficiency GaN-based LEDs are manufactured today by Narayan’s invention of quantum nanostructuring or Nano-Pocket LEDs. Narayan also pioneered the concept of solute trapping in semiconductors by his discoveries of laser annealing in the late seventies and the formation of supersaturated semiconductor alloys for which he received 1981 US-DOE Award and 1983 IR-100 on Supersaturated Semiconductor Alloys that form the backbone of modern Integrated Circuits (Science 204, 461(1979); Science 252,416(1991)). Narayan received the 2011 Acta Materialia Gold Medal for these pioneering contributions and his leadership in materials science worldwide. The concept of solute trapping, which was introduced by John Cahn in the early seventies, resulted in the 2011 Kyoto Prize for Cahn and the 2011 Nobel Prize for Dan Shechtman for his work on quasicrystals which formed due to Mn solute trapping in aluminum-manganese alloys.
Narayan’s recent research focuses on a new frontier in materials science related to Q-carbon and diamond-related materials with unprecedented mechanical (harder than diamond), electrical (NV nanodiamond quantum computing and record near room-temperature BCS superconductivity), optical (highest field emission), and magnetic (robust room-temperature ferromagnetism in Q-carbon) properties(ACS Nano 11, 11915 (2017)). This research is funded by NSF, ARO, DARPA, Kopin and NOV Company.